11 October 2011
The pirates boarded the tanker, believed to be a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, on Saturday, IMB manager Cyrus Mody told AFP from
"The vessel is still under captivity...We believe the crew is still on board," according to the official of the piracy watchdog, who added that there was "no indication that the crew has been taken away".
Soon after the attack, IMB was informed that the crew members, whose exact number is unknown, "were OK", but the organisation has had no news of them since, Mody noted.
According to a report on the IMB website, the attack took place around 90 nautical miles south of
Lagos, Nigeria 's economic capital.
A spokesman for the Nigerian navy said that the tanker was the MT Cape Bird carrying 30,000 tonnes of fuel.
"We have no information yet on the crew members," said Kabir Aliyu, adding that the navies of
Nigeria and neighbouring were looking for the tanker. Benin
The coast of Nigeria, Africa
's largest oil producer, is reputed to be dangerous, with pirates hijacking ships, mostly loaded with crude, from the oil-rich Niger Delta, for sale on the region 's lucrative black market.
On October 2, pirates armed with automatic weapons fired upon and boarded a chemical tanker off neighbouring Benin before stealing cash, the latest in a wave of such attacks off west Africa, IMB said.
The coast of
has seen some 20 piracy incidents this year compared with none last year. Piracy has long been a problem off Benin . Nigeria